The #1 Rule to Avoid Being a Victim of Sliders

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

This morning our local news reported that several women all over town have been victimized by the latest crime wave, called “sliders.”   I mentioned this a while back as a local crime, but the incidence of these crimes have become more widespread.  It is happening in cities all over the country.

What are sliders?

The crime happens in a gas station where many people leave their cars unlocked, thinking nothing will happen if they are just a few feet away from the car.  A thief parks his car next to the target, and, as she is filling up the tank, an accomplice slides across the small space in between, opens the targeted car door and steals whatever is on the front passenger seat.  A lot of women leave their purses, smart phones and tablets on the front passenger seat; some even leave the window open, making it very easy for the thief to grab.

All the victims who were interviewed were women who lost purses, electronics and cash, all while they were standing next to the car putting gas.

Why is this so common?

If you think like a thief for a moment, you will realize that although risky, the perpetrator of this crime can get away with a lot of loot for just a few seconds worth of “work.”  All they have to do is sneak up to someone’s car, grab whatever they can take and run away.  Then they sell purses, smart phones, tablets for whatever they can get, take the cash and use the credit cards for more stuff while they can.

At the same time, so many people are on autopilot, not bothering to lock up or even look up from whatever they are doing.  One of the victims in the news report didn’t even realize she had been robbed, until a bystander several cars away yelled that someone was taking off with her purse.  Unfortunately, it was too late for anyone to do anything – the thieves had already driven away.

In the same report, the police admitted it is very hard to track down the criminals because the camera footage is usually very poor quality, making it hard to identify anyone.

How to Avoid Being a Victim of Sliders

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings, wherever you are.  Situational awareness is the number one rule to avoid becoming a victim.
  2. Even if you are familiar with the neighborhood, never let your guard down.
  3. Don’t leave your purse, shopping bags or any valuables on the front passenger seat, where it attracts attention.
  4. Lock your car every time you step out, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  5. If you are going inside the mini mart, hide your purse under the seat and don’t forget to lock your car.  Or, take your purse with you, and keep a tight hold on it.

This is a crime of opportunity.   If every car door was locked, the thief would not have such easy access to the goods.  And, if more people were paying attention to their surroundings, these criminals would be easily spotted.  Unfortunately, not everyone pays attention, making it easy for criminals to take advantage.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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